Time to implement the CSA strategy to enable sustainability in agriculture
Land is key to supporting livelihoods and economies- it is the primary source of food, energy and a host of natural resources. Yet we are living at a time when unpredictable weather patterns aggravate drought and desertification, resulting to loss of arable land. This disproportionately affects communities who so much depend on it- either directly or indirectly. Land degradation and drought are challenges that are intricately linked to loss of biodiversity, food insecurity and unemployment.
Rapid population growth, increased urbanization and changing consumption patterns have generated excessive pressure on our finite land resources, leading to land degradation around the country.
Kenya Climate Innovation Centre(KCIC) draws a number of lessons from initiatives designed to strengthen climate change mitigation and adaption efforts as a way of enabling communities cope with the worrying trends of climate-induced challenges including land degradation and desertification. Through sustainable consumption and production, coupled with the use of appropriate technology, our country can be placed on the path towards sustainable development.
As a way of coping with persistent droughts and increased threats of desertification, climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is the way to go. The Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Strategy recognizes the excellent opportunity CSA presents for transforming agriculture by bringing together development and climate change while integrating the tridimensional approach to sustainable development- the economic, social as well as environmental aspects.
While this works for increased yields per acreage relative to the more traditional approaches to farming, CSA also builds resilience in agricultural production systems through energy and water efficiency, among other sustainable practices.
As a country, it is time to rededicate our efforts towards climate resilience through sound agricultural practices as a way of addressing food security, creating employment, addressing climate change and growing our economy in line with our development strategies. This calls for concerted efforts from all players to work towards a sustainable planet in order to keep in sight the 2030 targets envisioned in the Sustainable Development Goals.
By Vincent Ogaya